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Rally for Immigrant Women, Youth and Families to Demand Immigration Reform That Works for Women and Families

WASHINGTON D.C., March 18, 2013— The Women’s Refugee Commission, as a member of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCIWR), has helped organize the March 18 Rally for Immigrant Women, Youth and Families. Immigrant women, youth and movement leaders will be in attendance demanding immigration reform that works for women and families, as well as advances in equality, health, education, family unity and justice.

“Approximately 5 million undocumented women and 1 million undocumented children currently live in the United States, yet our immigration laws and policies have historically been—and continue to be—unfair to both groups,” said Michelle Brané, Director of the Women’s Refugee Commission’s Migrant Rights and Justice Program. “The reality is that we have a broken immigration system that disproportionately marginalizes women and children. If we’re seeking immigration reform that is truly comprehensive, we must include solutions that specifically address their needs.”

Women and children are more likely to face exploitation and danger both at the border and in the interior. In addition, because women often lack access to higher education, they may not be able to avail themselves of the same opportunities for employment-based migration and suffer disproportionally from the backlogs in our family-based system. Families are too often separated by immigration enforcement practices that threaten women’s custody of their children. And migrant children, many of them unaccompanied, have no access to legal pathways through employment-based migration and limited access to counsel and critical social services.“

The Women’s Refugee Commission has been working extensively to ensure that immigration reform is inclusive, and that women and children are afforded opportunities, protections and pathways equal to those of men,” said Brané. “It is critical that immigration legislation provide a viable pathway to citizenship that includes women and children, mechanisms for ensuring family unity, smart border enforcement with mechanisms that ensure migrants are being treated with respect and dignity, and proper due process protections for immigrants.” The Rally will take place on Monday, March 18 in Washington, D.C., at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church 201 4th Street SE (4th and Independence SE),  Washington, D.C. 20003.

Participating alongside the Women’s Refugee Commission will be the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), as well as partners from women’s health and rights, immigrant rights, faith, LGBTQ, workers’ rights, children’s rights and civil rights advocates.

This event is part of a larger, month-long advocacy campaign, March for Immigrant Women: A Month of Action for Citizenship, Families and Justice. For more information, please visit http://nciwr.wordpress.com/march-for-immigrant-women/.

Michelle Brané is available to comment at 646.717.7191.